The Bee Tower project will be built as a freestanding structure in Silo City. Construction is expected to be completed by June 5, 2012.
Rick Smith / Rigidized Metals is sponsoring the construction of the project. A large part of his contribution will be in-kind donations, particularly with regard to the fabrication of the tower’s steel panels. During the last phase of competition, both finalist teams had an opportunity to tour Rigidized Metals and receive in-depth consulting from fabrication specialists and cost estimators. The winning team will now be working more closely with Rigidized Metals, which will be providing materials and fabrication services to produce the panels for the tower’s skin. The other construction materials for the project will also be funded by Rigidized Metals .
The students plan to construct the structural steel frame and the “Bee Cab,” a moving elevator-like cab which will house the bee colony, in the School of Architecture and Planning Materials and Methods Shop.
One of the most unpredictable, and potentially dramatic, moments of the installation will be moving the bee colony from its existing location in the boarded-up window of the American Office Building to the new Bee Tower. Beekeeper Philip Barr will be directing this process on ‘moving day.’